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Executive Team

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Lindsay Herndon, CEO

Lindsay Herndon, LMHC

Chief Executive Officer

Lindsay Herndon, LMHC, has served as Caz Recovery’s CEO since 2023. She brings a particular emphasis on Trauma-Informed Care and creating progressive, evidence-based programs. Lindsay is passionate about strengthening the behavioral health workforce by supporting staff to effectively manage their life-saving and oftentimes challenging work.

Since assuming her role with Caz, she has already guided the organization through substantial change including significant reimbursement rate updates, a successful staffing restructure, and the completion of multiple major capital projects. Her next goals for the organization include continuing its growth and ensuring high-quality services for people with substance use disorders.

Lindsay has an MA in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a BS in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has led multi-faceted, diverse, and talented teams in behavioral healthcare for nearly a decade.

Outside of work, Lindsay spends most of her time with what she calls her “small zoo.” This includes her husband, three children, three dogs, five cats, three frogs, and a koi pond. Along with this, Lindsay loves the outdoors and tries to go running or hiking when the Buffalo weather allows.

Angela Angora, Director of Reintegration Services

Angela Angora, Advanced CASAC

Director of Reintegration Services

We brought Angela on board in 2013 to manage Liberty Hall, our former program in Batavia for homeless veterans. She quickly became such a valuable part of our team that she began overseeing other programs throughout the agency, as well. Angela is now our Director of Reintegration Services and oversees our Reintegration, Step Toward Success, and Supported Housing programs. She’s been invaluable in expanding our Supported Housing programs recently through new federal and state models. 

 “These kinds of programs are so important,” Angela said. They’re often a critical point in the journey to independence for people with substance use disorders. Typically, residents begin looking for jobs or start going back to school during this period in their recovery. “When people have things to look forward to and be proud of, they’re much more successful,” she said.

 Angela has over twenty years of experience in behavioral health and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community & Human Services with a concentration in Counseling from Empire State College. She is also a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).

Ed Cichon, Director of Marketing & Communications

Ed Cichon

Vice President of Advocacy, Communications, and DEI

Ed oversees all aspects of the agency’s advocacy, communications, grants and DEI efforts. He joined the Caz Recovery team in 2014 and built the agency’s marketing efforts from the ground-up. He greatly enjoys collaborating with local and statewide partners to advance causes for both people with substance use disorders and providers where it matters most.

Likewise, he’s passionate about telling uplifting stories throughout the nonprofit sector, and has over fifteen years of experience with local nonprofits. “We’re a great organization. It’s an honor telling the stories of the people we support and our amazing staff members,” he added. 

Ed has a bachelor’s degree in Art from the University at Buffalo, a master’s degree in International Relations from Webster University, and serves on the board of the Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium as their Public Policy Chair. He’s currently on a digital nomad journey traveling around the East Coast escaping Buffalo’s winters.

Kari Foster, Director of Kitchen Operations

Kari Foster

Director of Kitchen Operations

Kari Foster is Caz Recovery’s Director of Kitchen Operations. In her role, Kari oversees the kitchens in our larger group facilities and leads a team of Food Service Specialists. Joining Caz in 2023, she brings nearly 30 years of experience and is ServSafe certified. Kari previously served as a Chef Manager in an international café at a college.

“My journey at Caz is all about creating a nurturing environment through food,” says Kari. “Meal planning brings stability and comfort to our residents’ lives. It’s about creating a sense of home and belonging.” Outside of work, Kari finds joy in spending quality time with her family, cooking (naturally), and attempting DIY projects with mixed success.

Jenn Leumer, Director of Finance and Operations

Jenn Leumer

Chief Financial Officer

Jenn has been a member of Caz Recovery’s team since 2018, and she quickly moved up within our Finance Department. Jenn is now serving as our Chief Finance Officer, and she has helped guide the organization through challenging fiscal realities. Thanks to her leadership, our organization is now the strongest it’s been financially in years.

Numbers come naturally to Jenn, and she enjoys the “more analytical” approach found in financial and accounting work. That’s what drove her to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College in Finance and Economics with a minor in Business Administration.

She lives in Elma with her husband and two children. Together, her family enjoys the ample outdoor activities that Western New York has to offer. Hiking is one of her favorites. Jenn also likes to cook, though she admits that she’s “not very good at it.” However, those who’ve tried her dishes at our Administrative Office’s holiday potluck lunches would disagree.

Kristin Minervini, Director of Human Resources

Kristin Minervini, PHR & SHRM-CP

Vice President of Employee Services

Kristin Minervini joined Caz Recovery in 2021 and is our VP of Employee Services. She has over thirteen years of Human Resources experience with extensive knowledge of human services agencies. Kristin is a credentialed Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and is a Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP). She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo’s School of Management and an associate’s degree from Erie Community College in Office Management & Administration.

Since joining us, Kristin has been instrumental in bringing transformational and well-regarded initiatives to our Human Resources department at a time of significant challenge for the sector’s workforce. She lives in Amherst with her husband, two children, dog, and chickens. Kristin and her family love spending time outside, riding four-wheelers, and going on trips together.

Andrea Ocasio, Advanced CASAC

VP of Compliance, Quality, and Risk

Andrea has been with Caz Recovery since 2010 and has over 20 years of experience in behavioral health. Today, she oversees our compliance and quality assurance operations in order to ensure that the best possible services are being provided throughout the agency. Our success over the last few years can be attributed to the decisive role Andrea has played. Through her leadership, our programs have adapted well in demanding times. 

Gratitude is a major value that Andrea promotes in her work. As such, she is grateful for the dedicated work of our staff. Their unyielding support for our residents has made Caz Recovery what it is today. “We have a great reputation because we do so much and we’re thorough,” said Andrea.

Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Buffalo State and an associate’s degree in Substance Use Counseling from Erie Community College. She is an Advanced Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and is certified in trauma counseling. 

Briana Petersdorf, Advanced CASAC

Director of Clinical Services

Briana Petersdorf is one of Caz Recovery’s longest-serving employees, as she’s been with the agency since 2008. Throughout her extensive career with us, she has successfully managed multiple programs throughout Caz Recovery’s history. She now serves as our Director of Clinical Services overseeing our three Rehabilitation programs.

She graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and from Niagara University with a master’s of science in Counseling. Briana has been a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) since 2013 and completed the Trauma Informed Care & Counseling certificate program through the University at Buffalo. She has two kids and a puppy named Goose she loves dearly, and when she’s not at work, she enjoys boating, camping, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Susan Phibbs, Director of Operations

Susan Phibbs

Director of Operations

Susan Phibbs serves as the agency’s Director of Operations. She has years of experience in customer service, finance, and operations, and spent ten years working at the Lexington Cooperative Market as their Office Assistant. Susan joined our team in 2017 and has worked in many different roles within our organization including Accounts Payable Coordinator, Operations Assistant, and Operations Coordinator. As Director of Operations, she primarily oversees our Maintenance and IT departments and ensures that our facilities, programs, and offices are functioning efficiently.

As a lifelong Buffalo resident, Susan’s roots run deep. “The city of good neighbors is part of how I define myself,” she said. “We are strong, resilient, and dedicated in our service to others.” This commitment to service comes through in her work every day. She lives in the Parkside neighborhood of the city with her husband, son, daughter, and their family dog, Rafa. Each year, she and her family camp in the Adirondacks, and she enjoys hiking, kayaking, biking, the beach, traveling, reading, and game nights.

Jay A. Swarthout, LMHC

Vice President of Clinical Services & Development

Jay oversees much of Caz Recovery’s programmatic operations, development projects, infrastructure planning, and service growth. In turn, he’s responsible for diversifying our funding and developing strong relationships with managed care providers. He says, “We are very blessed to have such a dedicated, talented, and resourceful management team and staff that provide the highest quality of care and constantly find ways to improve and grow.”

Thanks to Jay’s considerable experience, our agency is well-suited to adapt to the changes coming our way. His background includes extensive experience as a clinician, administrator, educator, trainer, and program and system developer in working with individuals with trauma, criminal justice, developmental disability, and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder issues.

Jay joined Caz Recovery in 2017. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia and is a NYS-Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). He is also Adjunct Faculty at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and a member of the Board of Directors for Restoration Society, Inc. Jay has been recognized by Erie/Niagara NAMI, the Mental Health Association of Erie County, the Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium, the Erie County Trauma Task Force, the Metropolitan Medical Response System, Give an Hour, and other groups for over 40 years of community contributions and service.

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